Damage Control by devra

I jerk open Daniel's front door in anger. This whole situation is a freaking mess. I *knew* this idea was a hair-brained scheme the moment Daniel presented it at the briefing, but did anyone listen to me? *Nooooo*, of course not.

So what's the SGC left to contend with? Tons of damage control in the wake of this mission. We've got a burning vehicle, shattered windows, an injured Denver police officer and a sedated Goa'uld sleeping on Daniel's front lawn, and it isn't even 0-seven hundred hours yet! General Hammond isn't pleased when I call him to convey the particulars of the late night stakeout that blended right into this early morning fiasco. Never losing a beat, knowing that Washington is going to be coming down hard on us for this one, General Hammond takes a moment to bark out orders to his aide regarding the transportation and care of both Osiris and Pete.

Hammond's little sigh of exasperation, the one that means he wonders why he hasn't yet retired, doesn't escape me. "How's Dr. Jackson?"

"Ribboned, Sir," I answer contritely when I push open the bathroom door. Daniel's sporting a wonderful shade of green as he vomits into the toilet. "Yup, definitely ribboned."

Hammond is caring enough to be concerned and military enough to feel the need to ask his next question. "Ummm...Colonel, is Dr. Jackson able to answer if he remembered the location to the Lost..."

"I'll ask him, Sir."

"Daniel? The General wants to know if you remembered the address of the Lost..."

Daniel shakes his head while praying to the porcelain throne.

"That would be a negative, Sir." Needless to say our conversation doesn't end on a positive note.

One handed, I moisten a washcloth, fold it and place it on the back of Daniel's neck. I kiss his sweaty head and then hurriedly beat a hasty retreat after I'm assaulted by the fragrant odor of Daniel's regurgitated midnight snack.

I snap the phone shut, slip on my sunglasses and square my shoulders as I prepare myself to go out to this formerly quiet, middle class neighborhood to pay my respects to Daniel's neighbors, the firemen attending to the flaming van, Sam's new beau who is bleeding on someone's lawn, and, of course, Teal'c, who's standing Jaffa-guard over a dead-to-the-world ex-girlfriend of Daniel's.

The ambulance and the SGC PR personnel arrive at the same time. For a moment, I watch them both work their magic, and then nonchalantly slip inside to check on my archaeologist. Daniel is still in the bathroom, sitting on the floor, leaning against the counter with his face smooshed into the washcloth.

He jumps when I slam the toilet lid shut and I'm obviously taking my life in my hands as I sit on the closed lid. I pray Daniel's body is finished dealing with the aftershock of being ribboned yet again.

"Sarah?" he asks, her name muffled in the terry cloth pressed to his face.

"Gonna get an extended vacation with the Tok'ra."

"Need to go with her."

"Yeah, Daniel. I'm sure Fraiser's gonna let you accompany Sarah to give Osiris a rousing Bon Voyage Party. In my honest opinion, that's just not gonna happen."

Daniel lowers the washcloth. "I'm fine."

"I haven't slept, you haven't slept and the donuts I was drooling over while standing in your hallway waiting for you and Osiris to finish playing around, are now burnt to a crisp." I lean forward and touch the residual, tell tale burn darkening his forehead. I mouth a sympathetic "ow" when he grimaces.

"Your neighbors seem like nice people." I extend my hand to hoist Daniel to a standing position.

"Haven't really met them yet." He stands and sways a moment before steadying himself. "Only the nice elderly couple who live across the street."

"Oh, the house with the flowers out front?"

"Yeah. Jack?" I'm not sure if the look he's giving me is one of curiosity or an expression of pain. "Is there something I should know?"

I think of the smoldering van outside their house along with all the windows shattered from the explosion, and rather than answer his question, I grab his elbow and guide him into what he considers a bedroom. With very little prodding, he drops down onto that futon/beddie thing that came with his new house that for some godforsaken reason Daniel has grown attached to.

"Jack, the couple across the street...should I be worried?"

"Nah," I assure him. "Let's get you dressed..." I step into his closet to grab something other than the indecently thin items he is wearing, and by the time I return, Daniel's beginning to make himself comfortable.

"Thought you wanted to go with Sarah." I tug at his pants and Daniel lifts his butt, allowing me access to pull them down.

"I do."

"And you feel fine."

"I do."

"Then why aren't you getting yourself dressed, hmmm?"

"Don't want to take away all your fun." He yawns.

I gently smack a bare leg. "This is *all* your fault. If you had stayed at my house..."

Daniel squints at me. "Me, you and Sarah in dream-state? I so don't want to go there, Jack."

* * * *

We debrief sans Daniel, who is down for the count in the infirmary, compliments of sleepless dream-ridden nights, a blinding headache from the ribbon device and a smidgen of Fraiser's happy juice. I fill the General and SG1 in on Daniel's inability to decipher the language Sarah had presented him with in the dream.

"Oh, and Carter, this is for you." I slide the memory probe across the table to my 2IC, who catches it and gives it a cursory glance before depositing it in her pocket. I begin to hum that catchy little tune that she had voiced to me only a few days before in the elevator, and she shoots me an evil glance. Poor Carter's got it bad and I make a mental note to talk to the General about allowing her to bend the rules. I sorta liked how happy Carter was, and I also wanted to keep Pete around for a selfish reason. While she had been dating him, Carter left the mountain early, and when she did, Daniel didn't have a tendency to stick around and shoot the scientific breeze with her. Now, if I could just figure out how to convince Daniel to sell that house, move to a very secluded area, or at the very least, buy a bigger bed.

As soon as the debriefing is concluded, Teal'c, with a re-sedated and tightly shackled Osiris, will be taking a journey with round trip tickets for only a Jaffa and a Tau'ri. Goa'uld not invited.

Fraiser had nixed Daniel's plea to accompany Teal'c and Sarah after he had vomited on her lab coat. No amount of pleading or begging could change her mind at that point, and when I had left the infirmary, the doc had been taking obscene pleasure in making sure Daniel's IV placement was just so.

* * * *

I'm positive at this point that Carter's with Pete, extruding the finer points of the SGC while Teal'c and his baggage are on their way to Chimera. And I'm sitting by Daniel's bedside trying to wake him without being overtly obvious. I must be losing my touch because it takes almost twenty minutes before a sliver of blue appears under heavy lids.

"Back yet?" he mumbles.

"Oh, didn't mean to wake you, sorry."

"Sarah back yet?"

"No, Daniel, she's not."

"Why'd ya wake me then?" he complains, yawning. "You're not worried about Sarah, are you?"

"Of course, I am, I mean..."

"No, Jack. I meant about *me* and Sarah."

"No, of course not," I lie easily. Honestly, how do I tell him that I'm jealous and I want confirmation that a blast from Daniel's past isn't gonna usurp me from his life. "I didn't wake you," I protest, pushing back a piece of hair that has strayed too close to the burn.

"Whatever you say."

My hand slips to the bed and Daniel moves as close it as possible without actually touching it. "Only you," he says quietly.

"Prove it. Change that bed, like you keep promising to do."

Daniel laughs softly at my words, a constant point of contention between us since he's bought the house.

I so want to kiss him, and I bury my annoyance when I think that Carter is probably explaining *and* kissing Pete on the other side of the cement wall, while Daniel and I have to express our feeling in looks and almost-touches. Very unfair.

"Sarah's gonna need a friend, though."

"You're a good friend, Daniel," I admit begrudgingly.

"She's gonna need shoulders to cry on."

I smooth the blanket over said shoulders. "You got nice wide ones there."

He yawns again and tentatively touches his forehead.

"Go to sleep, Daniel."

"Wake me when Sarah comes back," he reminds me.

Daniel is already sleeping when I promise to wake him, and I promise myself damage control on Daniel's psyche when he puts his friend back in order. I know Daniel well enough to be one hundred percent positive that he won't walk away from being supportive to Sarah without losing a part of himself. In both guilt and remorseful memories. Now for me...I don't need Daniel to promise to love me best, cause I know that he does, but maybe there's the possibility that I can get him to finally buy that bigger bed.  

The End!

Author's Comments: Thanks jo for the wonderful beta and patience, one of these days I'll get it all right. Thanks to those that lend support through laughter and kind words the fandom would be quite lonely without you.


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